How Current School Reform Policy Maintains Racial and Economic Inequality
8. edTPA: Doubling Down on Whiteness in Teacher Education
As a system of privilege emerging within a sociopolitical historical context, Whiteness is marked by denial of its hegemony and the inability to engage across difference with deep understanding and respect. In this chapter I argue that the edTPA, a newly mandated teacher candidate assessment, reproduces Whiteness and, thus, is an instrument of White supremacy. That is, as a standard, corporate instrument the edTPA reproduces the dominant narrative of teaching, learning, and knowledge, and silences and excludes others voices and possibilities. Its demands for obedience, the hierarchies that allow it to be imposed, and its presumption of objectivity all work to reproduce the Whiteness institutionalized in our schools and practices.
As an instrument of neoliberal logic, the edTPA is the teacher education equivalent of Common Core State Standards, high-stakes testing, and value-added teacher evaluations. Each of these imposes a narrowly quantitative narrative of teaching and learning on schools, students, and teachers. Each eliminates understandings of teaching and learning that acknowledge the social-political context in which education takes place and the rich messy complexity of schools. The narrative of Whiteness is reinforced at the macro and micro levels through many policies, tools, and practices. This chapter focuses on the edTPA as one such tool. I write from inside my lived experience as a teacher educator whose work and purpose was disrupted by the edTPA and who came to understand it as one more manifestation of Whiteness. Those of us committed to educational justice...
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